Review: Finding Dory

It has been a long, long wait for the sequel to Finding Nemo (2003) to swim into cinemas.

Thirteen years to be exact. The wait will have been even longer for die-hard Pixar fans who can’t get enough of the clownfish duo and their forgetful friend.

Ellen DeGeneres returns as the forgetful-but-loveable Dory, still hanging around with little Nemo and his father one year after the events of the first film. Remembering fragments of her past, Dory and her friends go in search of her family and end up bumping into old and new friends at a Marine Life Institute.

With such a lengthy period of time passing since its predecessor, Finding Dory has the formidable task of entertaining both a fresh, young audience and those coming back to revisit the (now to be) series. 

Fortunately, the film perfectly achieves this. The pacing of the film is superb, never drawing out the run time with contrived scenes of forced sentimentality or pointless dramatics. It keeps a constant flow of entertaining action and couples it with a fine-tuned sense of comedic timing and fun.

The original cast, bar Nemo’s voice, reprise their roles. DeGeneres provides a snappy and endearing performances as Dory, able to balance comedy and the sense of loss her character feels. Albert Brookes as the apprehensive Marlin adds a humorous nervousness, contrasting nicely with Dory’s scatty personality.

While the established sea-life lives up to their previous appearance, there is a large collection of new characters that help light-up this latest Pixar feature. Destiny the whale shark, Hank the octopus and a pair of hilarious sea lions (played by Idris Elba and Dominic West) all fit into the world seamlessly and waste no time in winning the audience’s affection.

Finding Nemo had a very unique story. Its follow-up manages to craft a different narrative with ease and employs an admirable amount of ingenuity when avoiding repeating the same plot points. The focus is fun and the storyline certainly delivers.

The visuals are testament to the high standard of Pixar’s animation. There is no shock when comparing it to the quality of Finding Nemo. The film makes excellent use of the underwater environments. Whether in the claustrophobia of the cramped, grimy underwater pipes or the vast emptiness of the ocean – the film is stunningly beautiful.

Pixar has a near-perfect track record when it comes to entertaining animations. With such a beloved film as Finding Nemo, a follow-up risked causing great disappointment. Luckily, Finding Dory is a fantastic story, jammed with likeable characters and beautiful visuals. Add a healthy dose of humour and fun and this is another great Pixar feature.

Have you seen the film yet? Let us know in the comments below!